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A tall, slender bounty hunter whose laid back sensibilities play down the abilities of a Jeet Kune Do master.
As a bounty hunter, Spike is without an equal -- at least in his ability to find and detain a bounty, although due to various circumstances he often has difficulty delivering the goods and collecting the reward, causing his partner Jet no end of frustration. Because of Spike's penchant for racking up huge bills not only for repairs to his ship the, Sword Fish II, and damages to the public and private property that gets between he and his bounty, the two are often broke. In spite of that, the two take on additional crew members on occasion: a welsh corgi named Ein, a young computer genius named Ed, and sometimes rival, sometimes ally Faye Valentine, who develops feelings for Spike.
Originally a brash young member of the Red Dragon crime syndicate with his friend Vicious. The two were both violent, had the same blood flowing through their veins. At some point in his past, he lost one of his eyes in an accident. Some time later, after a particularly violent battle, Spike found himself wounded, deliriously wandering the night streets. The last thing he saw before he fell face-first onto the cement was the face Julia, Vicious' girlfriend who he had only seen from afar. She nursed him back to health and the two fell in love. Spike convinced Julia to run away with him and told her to meet him in a cemetery, then they'd be free. When Vicious found out, his jealousy and rage descended upon Julia and gave her an ultimatum at gun-point; if she betrayed and killed Spike, she would be released from the confines of the Red Dragon's. Rather than set him up, she fled and has been on the run ever since. Spike, abandoned by her, faked his own death to keep Vicious off his trail.
Spike spends the next three years partnered with Jet Black on board the Bebop, hopping around the galaxy, collecting bounties. Despite lacking interest for most of his crew, he is prone to showing real care for them when they're in jeopardy and genuine respect for his friendship with Jet.
He was thrown back into his old life when he avenged the death of Mao Yenrai, the Capo (short for Capo-regime) of a branch of the Red Dragons, who was assassinated by Vicious, finally revealing himself to those who assumed him years dead.
When Vicious failed to assassinate the Elders of the Red Dragon's in his move to take over the Syndicate, everyone who had ever been a member of the family was hunted down. Spike was warned that Julia was in danger by Faye, who had helped her fend off her pursuers and gave him a message that she would be waiting for him 'there'. Spike returned to the cemetery where he had waited years before. Julia was there. Together, they went to Annie's news stand. She had been attacked and passed away before their eyes. As he looked at her, Spike decided he was staying to end everything. Julia told him she would stay by his side. Before he could object, Vicious' men attacked. In the fight, Julia was shot. She died in his arms after she looked into his eyes and said about their lives "it's all...a dream..."
Spike returns to the Bebop once more. Of Spike's life, Jet recited Hemingway's 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro'. In response, Spike tells him 'The Cat with a Million Lives' by Youko Sano. Spike leaves his home.
He assaults the Red Dragon's building and fights to the top, destroying it as he goes. Vicious is sitting on a throne at the top, waiting in the open night sky. They fight, each wounding the other, each coming closer to death. They hold the others weapons in their hands until they decide to finish it. They toss the weapons back to the other. Spike takes a slice from the katana across the stomach and Vicious takes a bullet to the heart. He walks down the steps, to where the remaining Red Dragon members are watching. Making a gun with his thumb and index finger, he falls taking them out. Spike died on that rooftop moments after killing Vicious. He was 26.
Spike is many things: clever and scatter-brained, agile and lazy, he often acts first and thinks later. He looks upon his 'death' as being akin to a real one, saying that he's been living a dream ever since. To that end, he's very casual about what happens around him, generally not worrying about the future. He claims that due to the loss of one of his eyes, he can only view the past from one and the present from the other, neither seeing the future.
He was given the famous mono-racer Sword Fish by its creator and original pilot, Doohan.
While the rest of the Bebop crew’s histories are explicitly laid out through the series, Spike’s is only vaguely implied through memories, dreams and allusions. These lead to some speculation, but only that.
At the beginning of episode 05, Ballad of Fallen Angels, Mao Yenrai is assassinated by Vicious in a bid to take over that branch of the Red Dragon's. In his last breath, Mao curses at Vicious that if Spike were still there, Vicious would never have done it. In that same episode, when Spike is at Annie’s magazine stand, there is a picture of her, Yenrai and an older, unidentified man who looks suspiciously like Spike, all bunched together for the camera. Annie specifically tells him that Mao had people looking for him for a long time, that he was sure that Spike was still alive, that he could feel it. When Spike decides to go after those responsible for Mao's death, Spike tells Jet he has a debt to repay. In Episode 26, The Real Folk Blues, Part 2 Spike assaults the Red Dragon headquarters where Vicious has taken control. Along the way, he meets with Shin, who had come to warn Spike that the Dragon's were coming for him. Before the young yakuza dies of a gunshot wound, he tells Spike that he had been waiting for Spike to come back and lead them. If Spike was in line to take over the branch when Mao passed, this leads to the possibility that Yenrai had raised, (and perhaps adopted) the young man, perhaps after his father, and Mao's friend, had died.
Spike is rumored to be modeled after the late Japanese actor Yusaku Matsuda from his role in the film Tantei Monogatari. Also western influence can be seen on Spike because of his long leaning posture and body language of Clint Eastwood, especially his "Dirty Harry" character. In the first Session Spike is seen in wide brimmed hat and a poncho which is a trademark of Eastwood from the film "Man With No Name".
His liquid movements in a fight are based on the techniques of adaptive form and style created by Bruce Lee, although his appearance is more of a combination between Lupin III and Bob Dylan. Fans speculate that because of his surname, Israeli-made weapon, and mop of hair that Spike is Jewish, which has never been officially confirmed.
- Spike fights using Jeet Kune Do.
- His pistol is a Jericho 941. He is seen using a shotgun in Episode 26.
- Spike has one normal eye, the other he lost in an accident.
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